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A 12-inch MacBook Air is in production for the second quarter of this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. That leads to a question about Apple’s “Spring Forward” press event this coming Monday: Will Apple introduce a new laptop alongside its Apple Watch?
There’s little doubt [company]Apple[/company] plans to reveal all of the Apple Watch details and unanswered questions next week; I’ll be at the event with a live blog and first impressions of any new products.
If Apple indeed does plan to offer a MacBook Air with a screen size between the currently available 11- and 13-inch models in the second quarter, a March event is plausible. The timing with respect to chips makes sense as well: Intel’s new Broadwell processors were announced in January and are becoming available to device makers. Production could be underway as a result; Apple would have waited for next-generation chips for a new MacBook Air at this point.
News of a 12-inch MacBook Air hit in January with 9to5Mac super-sleuth Mark Gurman detailing the product from internal Apple sources and publishing in-house renders (above) created from the information.
Gurman reported that the 12-inch laptop will actually be closer in size to the current 11-inch MacBook Air due to slimmer bezels, an edge-to-edge keyboard and fewer ports, along with a reversible Type-C USB connector that works for both data transfer and power. Gurman also said the new MacBook Air will have a higher-resolution screen, likely meaning what Apple calls a Retina display on its products.
While the Apple Watch could stand on its own at an event, it’s worth remembering that it’s an accessory product to an iPhone. To my knowledge, Apple has never held an event solely for an accessory, although the watch is a completely new product line.
In that regard, I think there’s a better than 50-50 chance we see a svelte new 12-inch MacBook Air on Monday. Unless Apple plans another event before its WorldWide Developer Conference, expected this year in early June, the timing is right for a new laptop announcement next week.